Having a single SSD drive in your system is great and a lot of fun, but it doesn’t have to stop there. With multiple drives, you got the option to set them up in a RAID setup and gain improved performance, redundancy, and bind all the drives together into a single volume. This is what I will be doing today and I’m using Toshiba OCZ’s latest mainstream performance drive, the VX500 series. I got four of the drives, each with 512GB capacity and this is going to be a lot of fun.
Which RAID mode to chose will depend a lot on what you’re trying to achieve. You might simply want more performance, or maybe you want redundancy allowing drives to fail without the risk of losing your data. Or maybe you just want to bind them all into a single large volume for ease. Each of the available RAID modes has their advantages and disadvantages, so there is no better or worse choice. Each mode also delivers different performance results due to the way that the data is stored on the four physical drives. This review will hopefully help you make your decision if you should be in doubt.
But before we get to the testing, let us talk a little about the drives that I will be using for this review. The Toshiba VX500 SATA SSDs are designed for mainstream desktops and notebooks where they will provide a faster, more responsive computing, gaming, and application experience compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). There are four different capacity choices for the OCZ VX500 which are 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.
The drive uses Toshiba MLC NAND which has been paired with Toshiba’s TC358790 controller. While Toshiba doesn’t disclose the exact parameters of the controller, we do know a few things about it. It has previously been used in the Q-series Pro-Client SSDs as well as the HG6 enterprise SSDs. It supports the TCG Opal encryption standard and Toshiba’s proprietary QSCB error correction technology, but neither technology is mentioned in the official specifications for the VX500.
There is a slight performance difference between the models, but they are rated for a sequential read performance up to 550MB/s and a write performance of 515MB/s, each. The random performance is rated at 92K IOPS reading and 65K writing. We should be able to push all that quite a bit with a RAID setup, but just how well the scaling will be is something our tests will reveal.
The drives are made by a company with many years of experience in the field and it shows in all aspects. The VX500 drives come with an endurance rating of up to 592TB total bytes written and it is backed by the market’s best warranty. Not only is the drive covered by a 5-year warranty itself, but the replacement in the case of a failure is also the easiest you could want. The Advanced Warranty program runs directly between the customer and the company, eliminating the battle with the retailer who sold the drive. Once you’ve made your case with the support and supplied the drive information and issues, OCZ will dispatch a new drive to you as well as a return package for the old. Insert the new drive, send the old one back and continue with your life. That’s how warranty should be at any time. Naturally, we hope that you never will need it.
Included with the drives is another bonus in the form of a key for Acronis True Image cloning software. This will make it extremely easy to move your current setup onto the new drive. It also generally is great to have around as cloning is a lot easier than reinstalling.
The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturer’s homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.
The packaging is easily recognised as OCZ. It got a slight refresh since Toshiba entered the picture, but the general design stays the same. The front has a picture of the drive as well as the capacity included whereas the back as all the feature highlights listed.
Inside is the drive itself as well as a short installation guide and the information needed in case of RMA. There’s also a coupon with a code for Acronis True Image cloning software. The key is a welcome bonus that adds further to the overall bundle value.
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